Welcome to the ultimate Cleveland nightlife and party guide in 2023! The city is known for its diverse culture and rich history, and is definitely a city that doesn’t disappoint when it comes to nightlife. With its array of bars, clubs, and events, there’s something for everyone in this bustling metropolis. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best of the Cleveland nightlife scene, giving you all the insider tips and advice to make your nights out in the city unforgettable.
Where to Party in Cleveland
Cleveland’s nightlife scene can be found across several neighborhoods, each offering a distinct vibe and atmosphere. Here are some of the most popular areas to explore:
- Downtown: The heart of the city’s entertainment scene, downtown Cleveland is home to a wide range of bars, clubs, and live music venues. Popular streets include West 6th Street, East 4th Street, and the Flats East Bank, where you’ll find a mix of upscale lounges, casual bars, and trendy nightclubs. Notable venues in the downtown area include the House of Blues, Corner Alley, and Bar 32, a rooftop bar offering panoramic city views.
- Ohio City: Just across the Cuyahoga River from downtown, Ohio City boasts a diverse range of bars and breweries, making it the perfect spot for craft beer enthusiasts. Don’t miss the famous West Side Market, which hosts various events and offers a vibrant atmosphere after dark. Ohio City is also home to several popular breweries, such as Market Garden Brewery, Great Lakes Brewing Company, and Nano Brew.
- Tremont: Known for its historic charm and artistic flair, Tremont offers an eclectic mix of trendy bars, wine bars, and cozy pubs. Be sure to visit the area’s art galleries and boutiques during the day before you embark on your night out. Some of Tremont’s standout spots include The Treehouse, Edison’s Pub, and Hi and Dry.
- University Circle: Home to several colleges and universities, this neighborhood has a youthful and energetic vibe. Enjoy lively college bars, cultural events, and live music venues around Euclid Avenue and Uptown Avenue. Popular hangouts include ABC the Tavern, Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern, and The Jolly Scholar.
- Lakewood: Just west of downtown, Lakewood is a vibrant suburb with a bustling nightlife scene. From dive bars to trendy lounges, there’s something for everyone in this lively community. Check out popular spots like 16-Bit Bar+Arcade and The BottleHouse Brewery & Meadery.
Upcoming Events and Festivals
Cleveland’s nightlife isn’t limited to bars and clubs; the city also hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. Keep an eye out for these annual happenings:
- Brite Winter: Held in February, this outdoor winter festival combines music, art, and food for an unforgettable celebration of Cleveland’s creative community.
- IngenuityFest: Taking place in September, IngenuityFest showcases the city’s innovation in art, music, and technology, featuring performances, installations, and interactive exhibits.
- Cleveland Beer Week: A 10-day celebration in October, Cleveland Beer Week highlights the city’s thriving craft beer scene with tastings, brewery tours, and special events.
- Dyngus Day: Celebrated on the Monday after Easter, this Polish-American tradition features polka music, traditional food, and a lively parade through the city’s Gordon Square Arts District.
- Cleveland International Film Festival: Usually held in April, this annual event showcases independent films from around the world, accompanied by parties and special events.
Safety Tips and Advice
While Cleveland is generally a safe city, it’s essential to stay vigilant and follow common sense safety tips to ensure a fun and worry-free night out:
Travel in groups: As with any city, there’s safety in numbers. Stick together with friends and avoid wandering off alone.
Use reputable transportation: Opt for well-known rideshare services like Uber or Lyft, or use public transportation when possible. Avoid accepting rides from strangers.
Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and be mindful of your surroundings, especially when in unfamiliar areas. Keep your personal belongings close to you and avoid flashing valuable items.
Drink responsibly: Enjoy yourself, but know your limits. Keep an eye on your drink at all times to prevent any tampering and avoid accepting drinks from strangers.
Cost of Partying in Cleveland
The cost of partying in Cleveland can vary depending on your preferences and the venues you choose. Here’s a general breakdown of what you can expect to pay to experience the Cleveland nightlife:
Drinks: Expect to pay around $5-$7 for a domestic beer, $7-$10 for a craft beer or glass of wine, and $8-$12 for a cocktail.
Cover charges: Many nightclubs and live music venues charge a cover fee ranging from $5 to $20, depending on the event or artist performing. Some bars may also have a small cover charge during peak hours or for special events.
Transportation: Rideshare services like Uber or Lyft typically cost $10-$20 for a ride within the city, while public transportation is an affordable alternative at $2.50 for a one-way trip on the RTA Rapid Transit. If you plan on using public transportation frequently, consider purchasing an All-Day Pass for $5.50.
Food: Cleveland has a diverse food scene, with options to fit any budget. From food trucks and casual eateries to upscale restaurants, expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $50 for a meal, depending on the establishment.
Best Bars in Cleveland
Cleveland is home to a diverse range of bars, from trendy cocktail lounges to laid-back dive bars. Here are some of the city’s best:
The Velvet Tango Room
This upscale cocktail lounge in Tremont offers a sophisticated atmosphere and expertly crafted drinks. With a focus on classic cocktails and a speakeasy vibe, The Velvet Tango Room is perfect for a classy night out.
Great Lakes Brewing Company
Located in Ohio City, this popular brewery offers a wide selection of craft beers in a historic setting. With its lively atmosphere and tasty pub fare, it’s a must-visit for beer enthusiasts.
The Spotted Owl
Nestled in Tremont, this trendy cocktail bar boasts a unique drink menu featuring both classic and inventive concoctions. The dimly lit, rustic-chic interior creates an intimate and cozy setting, bringing out the best the Cleveland nightlife has to offer.
Porco Lounge & Tiki Room
For a fun, tropical experience, head to this tiki bar in Ohio City. With its extensive rum selection, creative cocktails, and vibrant Polynesian decor, Porco Lounge & Tiki Room is the perfect escape from the ordinary.
A Viking-themed bar in Lakewood, LBM offers a unique atmosphere with heavy metal tunes and a range of craft cocktails inspired by Norse mythology. The creative drinks and distinctive ambiance make this bar a one-of-a-kind experience.
Best Nightclubs in Cleveland
If dancing the night away is more your style, check out these top nightclubs in Cleveland:
FWD Day + Nightclub
Located in the Flats East Bank, FWD Day + Nightclub is an upscale outdoor venue featuring a pool, cabanas, and a state-of-the-art sound system and one of the best Cleveland nightlife spots. With regular appearances by renowned DJs and a stylish crowd, this club is the place to see and be seen.
Rumor Bar & Lounge
Rumor Bar & Lounge, a downtown sensation, boasts a stylish, contemporary ambiance with ample room to dance and frequent live DJ sets. Its eclectic music variety and energetic atmosphere draw a diverse array of patrons.
Among the numerous nightclub options in Cleveland, Rumor ranks high on the list, offering standard club perks like bottle service and some of the most attractive bottle servers in the business. Featuring predominantly modern rap and hip-hop tunes, the club attracts a fashionable and varied crowd of party enthusiasts.
Located in the Coventry Village neighborhood, B-Side Lounge is a popular destination for alternative and indie music lovers. With its casual atmosphere, themed nights, and rotating DJs, this club is a favorite among locals.
Housed in the basement of the Metropolitan at the 9 Hotel, Vault is an upscale speakeasy-style nightclub with an air of exclusivity. The luxurious setting, complete with antique bank vaults and lavish decor, sets the stage for a memorable night out.
Live Music Venues
Cleveland has a rich music history and a thriving live music scene. Check out these top Cleveland nightlife venues to catch a show:
Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
Located in the Waterloo Arts District, this iconic venue hosts both local and touring acts, offering a wide range of musical genres. This is one of the best Cleveland nightlife spots to enjoy live music!
A staple of the Cleveland music scene since 1992, the Grog Shop in Coventry Village features live performances from indie, punk, and alternative bands.
House of Blues
Located in the heart of downtown, this venue features an impressive array of both national and international performers, spanning genres like rock, blues, jazz, and hip-hop. The exceptional sound quality truly immerses you in the bass. Although the drinks come with a higher price tag, they’re undeniably delicious.
Music Box Supper Club
Situated in the Flats West Bank, this intimate venue offers a unique dining and live music experience with stunning views of the Cuyahoga River.
The Agora Theatre and Ballroom
A historic concert venue, the Agora has hosted legendary acts since 1966 and continues to be a premier destination for live music in Cleveland.
Cleveland Nightlife Conclusion
The Cleveland nightlife scene is vibrant and diverse, offering something for everyone. From upscale cocktail lounges to lively nightclubs, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to let loose and have a great time.
With various neighborhoods to explore and a multitude of events and festivals, there’s always something happening in the city. Remember to follow safety tips and advice to ensure a fun and secure night out on the town. Now that you’re equipped with all the information you need, it’s time to experience the best of Cleveland’s nightlife for yourself!